Apple Cider Donuts

Oh, hi. You look kinda hungry. Don’t worry. I made donuts.


And, again.


And one more time, but no link to that one since I still haven’t shared the recipe. It’s a doozy. I’ll share it soon.

What? It’s not like I have a problem with donuts or anything. I can stop anytime. Really. I can totally stop.

Quit judging me.

Just be happy that I’m sharing Apple Cider Donuts with you. I promised apple week, and apple week I shall deliver.

I know you all hate frying food (at least, I’m assuming that’s the case based on all of the scared/mean/angry/frightened emails I get every time I post a recipe that involves frying), and honestly, I don’t get it. Are you scared? Do you not do it for health reasons? Is it just that it’s something new to you and you’re leery about trying it? Do you just not know how?

Really, guys, frying isn’t difficult and it’s not horribly unhealthy if you do right and do it in moderation. Make sure your oil is hot enough and your food won’t soak up a ton of grease. I save the bottles that the oil comes in and I dump it back in the bottle through a funnel when I’m finished and toss the bottle with the lid tightly closed. I’ve also been known to just dump the pan full of oil out in a far corner of the backyard. I don’t fry often, maybe twice a month (is that often?), but it’s certainly not hard or scary.

Besides, freshly fried donuts are totally worth busting out a big pot of hot oil.

As you can see, I tossed my donuts in a bit of cinnamon and sugar, but I’m including the recipe for a yummy apple cider glaze that you could use instead. I just have this thing for cinnamon sugar donuts.

Go forth and fry. Report back and let me know how it goes.

Apple Cider Donuts

Yield: 18 donuts and 18 donut holes, depending on the size of your donut cutter

Apple Cider Donuts

Nothing beats homemade donuts and this apple cider version is simply amazing.


    For the donuts:
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus a few tablespoons for the work surface
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nuttmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon vinegar - mix together and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • For the topping:
  • Glaze - 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons apple cider
  • Cinnamon Sugar - 1 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • For frying:
  • Vegetable oil or shortening


  1. Add the apple cider to a small sauce pan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer for 20 to 30 minutes and reduce the apple cider to about 1/4 cup. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until completely incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and add the apple cider and buttermilk, stirring just until combined.
  4. Stir in the flour mixture just until the dough comes together.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour.
  6. Place the dough on one baking sheet and flatten it out with your hands to about 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Transfer the dough to the freezer for about 20 minutes.
  8. Use a donut cutter to cut donuts and place them on the second baking sheet. Re-roll and cut out any scraps. Place the cut donuts in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  9. Add enough oil or shortening to a deep sided pan to measure about 3 inches deep. Heat to 350 degrees. Line a plate with paper towels for draining the donuts.
  10. Carefully add donuts to the pan of hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan, and fry until golden brown, about 60 seconds per side. Drain on the paper towel lined plate for 1 minute and then dip in the glaze or powdered sugar.
  11. Serve immediately.

recipe from Smitten Kitchen

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33 Responses to “Apple Cider Donuts”

  1. Jessica @ How Sweet October 4, 2011 @ 6:05 pm (#

    these are my favorite kind of donuts!


  2. Kathy - Panini Happy October 4, 2011 @ 6:08 pm (#

    I just love these things! I never had them before visiting an apple orchard in New England two years ago – I was really missing out!


  3. mrsblocko October 4, 2011 @ 6:21 pm (#

    I’m terrified of frying! I can’t even do hashbrowns. I always manage to burn myself. I’m really skilled at doing that.

    Apple cider donuts are the best ever though. Almost worth getting burnt for.


  4. Michelle October 4, 2011 @ 6:43 pm (#

    The actual act of frying scares me. So does that thought of fat legs. So no frying for me.


  5. Jessica October 4, 2011 @ 6:50 pm (#

    OMG…yum! or OMGY!


  6. mrsblocko October 4, 2011 @ 7:07 pm (#

    To clarify… I don’t deep fry my hashbrowns. It only takes that much oil for me to burn myself. It’s the flipping part (and taking them out of the pan) that causes the trouble. No matter how gentle and delicate I try to be, I always splash oil on myself, and not just the little splashy jumping up bits of oil when you fry/cook with oil. Real honest to goodness splashes of oil. So for me, the more oil, the more chance of me seriously burning myself.


  7. Joanne October 4, 2011 @ 7:12 pm (#

    Ummm I’m totally scared of frying for…all of the above. But I’d do anything for cinnamon sugar. Anything.


  8. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 4, 2011 @ 7:45 pm (#

    These look amazing but I don’t fry just b/c the smell of fried food…lingers forever in my house…and tomorrow and the next day the smell of donuts will just make me want…more :)

    Seriously great work!


  9. Pat October 4, 2011 @ 7:51 pm (#

    I had my first apple cider donut last week in Vermont at a apple tree orchard. They had a little store set up selling apples or you could pick your own. They also where selling pies and had a petting zoo of farm animals. It was a great experience and now I have a great recipe!! Thanks for the recipe Karly


  10. Alli October 4, 2011 @ 10:30 pm (#

    I am beyond scared to fry. I just envision grease burns and a messy kitchen. These look so good I may need to conquer my fear.


  11. Christina October 5, 2011 @ 3:17 am (#

    I don’t think a donut has ever looked any better! Can you please mail some down to Florida?? 😉


  12. Jessica October 5, 2011 @ 3:16 am (#

    I can.not.freaking.wait to try these. *nom*


  13. Sabrina October 5, 2011 @ 7:27 am (#

    I bought a donut maker like yours. Wonder how this recipe would work using it instead of frying?


  14. Rachel @ Baked by Rachel October 5, 2011 @ 8:15 am (#

    YES!! I love you. A fellow fan of FRYING donuts. No baked donuts for this gal. Funny that you beat me to this. I have cider in the fridge waiting to be used for donuts. I can’t wait!! :)


  15. brandi October 5, 2011 @ 8:58 am (#

    I haven’t ever fried donuts at home, but they are 100% tastier than baked, for sure.

    i love cinnamon sugar donuts too :)


  16. Lauren October 5, 2011 @ 9:34 pm (#

    Oh my….these look amazing!


  17. Jenny October 6, 2011 @ 2:23 pm (#

    i’m afraid of frying…or more, i am afraid of not being able to stop eating fried donuts.
    but, if you really, really wanted to, you could do a rendition for the mini donut maker. ya know, in all your free time. :) pleeeeeeease!!! :)


  18. grace October 7, 2011 @ 5:20 pm (#

    as far as i’m concerned, apple cider donuts are the best ever. a caramel glaze is particularly nice. :)


  19. lori June 1, 2013 @ 6:56 pm (#

    gonna have to try your recipe. looks awesome. and I do like fried foods…


  20. Debra Pearson September 29, 2013 @ 10:48 pm (#

    What would be the differences in the donuts if Apple juice were used instead of cider? Don’t think I’ve ever had cider… ????


    • Karly replied: — September 29th, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

      Apple juice and cider are basically the same thing, so go ahead and swap them! No problem. :)


  21. Aqiyl Aniys March 27, 2014 @ 5:38 am (#

    These must have a nice tasty taste to them.


    • Aqiyl Aniys replied: — March 27th, 2014 @ 5:41 am

      I meant tarty taste.


  22. DM January 1, 2016 @ 7:21 pm (#

    I made these doughnuts this evening and they were really excellent. They puffed up beautifully and tasted amazing.


    • Karly replied: — January 4th, 2016 @ 11:03 am

      Glad to hear that!



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